Can/ should innate self-interest ever be overcome (by intellect, education, etc.)?
Pretty simple question(s) (not so sure if the same can be said of the answer).
I think that most would agree that humans are primarily self-serving creatures, albeit they certainly have "hard-wired" social tendencies but only to the extent that they can respectively reciprocate self benefit from society. In my opinion, this is at the heart of the problem when contemplating social/governmental revisions; you either get a society that acknowledges innate self interest and harnesses it to dangerous proportions, or a society that naively overlooks self interest and attempts to build a world that is diametrically opposed to human nature. Both are far from perfect. Of course there is the third option of fusing both but I tend to think that the world has seen such dual-systems before and they always seem to lose their balance eventually (usually to the whims of rampant self-want).
It seems to me that innate self interest is the paradox of society: it drives us together, but never too close. Which then begs the question: can (or even should) we ever get rid of it and how?